Fans of singer/actress/chef/radio host Nancy Wilson (pictured left) are going have their knickers in bunches with two fab new releases. On Feb. 12, Capitol will release The Essence of Nancy Wilson, a four-CD collection of the jazz/pop/R&B singer’s hits, misses, choice cuts and obscurities. A few weeks later, Narada will release Meant to Be, the first collaboration between longtime friends Wilson and Ramsey Lewis since 1984’s The Two of Us.
The Essence of Nancy Wilson follows last fall’s The Best of Nancy Wilson, which was a 40-song overview of her Capitol career. But Essence is no mere greatest-hits rehash: disc one does include rare singles and chart hits, and disc three includes Nancy’s personally selected favorites, but discs two and four will surprise even the most hardcore Wilson fans. The second CD, “From the Vaults,” features 23 unreleased tracks, including 14 from the unreleased album Live at the Sands from 1968. The fourth CD, “Hidden Gems,” features 18 tracks previously available in Japan only.
Lewis’ CD, Meant to Be, which features Wilson on more than half the tracks, reunites the twosome on a series of contemporary pop and ballads. A full spring tour is scheduled, but the two are warming up with two dates in February:
Wed. Feb. 20 in Harrisburg, Pa., at the Forum
Thurs. Feb. 21 in Westbury, N.Y. at the Westbury Music Fair